It’s not just in your head that you experience fatigue and physical weakness during your period. This feeling of tiredness that women sometimes feel during their period is called menstrual fatigue. It affects up to 90% of women, according to a 2019 study published by the US National Library of Medicine. There are several reasons why your period can be stressful for your body and mind. Let’s explore this and find out how to overcome weakness during menstruation.
Causes of Menstrual Fatigue
If we talk about typical menstrual symptoms, they include menstrual cramps, bloating, mood swings, and headaches. But some women also experience low energy levels and low feelings during your period. Here are some causes:
They are the main offenders! Our hormones are one of the key contributing factors to the exhaustion we feel before and during our period, says Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture IVF Clinic, New Delhi.
2. Low iron levels
An iron deficiency can make us feel a little depressed at this time of the month. It is therefore wise to monitor your iron intake.
3. Sugar cravings
It can be very tempting to crave carbs or sweets with added refined sugar, and giving in will definitely give you an energy boost. But it will be quickly followed by a sugar crash, which will make you want to dive back into sweets, notes the expert.
Tips to reduce weakness during menstruation
Being depressed doesn’t literally mean that you have to feel weak and depressed while on your period. Here are some ways to combat menstrual fatigue:
Alleviation of menstrual symptoms such as feeling tired during your period can be achieved by eating healthier foods and reducing your intake of coffee, salt and sugar. Additionally, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help reduce menstrual discomfort. Leafy greens rich in iron and B vitamins, such as kale, can ease menstrual fatigue, Dr. Bajaj tells Health Shots.
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2. Stay hydrated
Fatigue and dehydration are often linked. So, drink at least two liters of water every day and stay hydrated. You won’t have any accidents or restless nights if you choose water over sugary drinks or coffee. Do not look for a bottle of alcohol because it is a depressant that aggravates weariness. Try to refrain from having a glass of wine with dinner or going out for a drink after work.
Try doing some light exercise for a quick energy boost. Get your heart pumping and your blood flowing to start releasing endorphins, suggests the expert. If your menstrual cramps are keeping you up at night, exercise can also help. You can plan short walks if you feel you can’t get a full workout in the week before your period.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
The key to preventing menstrual fatigue is getting enough sleep by making sure you go to bed at the same time each night, turn off all screens an hour before bedtime, and have a comfortable sleeping environment. Also avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon if you want to have a good quality of sleep.
Look for healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, massage, breathing exercises, light exercise, meditation, and hot baths. You can relax before bed using these methods to get a better night’s sleep.
But if it gets too much and home treatment for menstrual fatigue doesn’t work, contact a doctor.